Friday, June 27, 2008

"Call the bishop, New Orleans, after Katrina," January 2007

At first I didn't want to post this one, because it's not in sharp focus. But then I realized that religion itself is a bit blurry. It's open to interpretation, subject to debate and viewed differently by nearly everyone despite drawing from many of the same texts for their beliefs.

It was taken from a moving car driven by a friend and local reporter as she took us on a tour of Lakeview, Gentilly, the Lower Ninth Ward -- the hardest-hit neighborhoods. New Orleans is still in shambles, struggling to get back on her feet after Mother Nature beat her down and her government abandoned her.

Maybe someone needs to call the bishop.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Manhattan from Sandy Hook," Sept. 2, 2001

I don't get to the beach nearly as much as I used to these days. It used to be a regular summer ritual, considering I grew up about five miles from the nearest one, in Sea Bright, and a mere 15 minutes from one of the most beautiful, Sandy Hook. So into the archives I go for this shot, and deep "into the vault," as the DJs used to say on WNEW, back when it was a classic rock station with Scott Muni and some of New York's best throwback jockeys. I've only begun scanning in the negatives from 13 years of photographs I took with my film SLR and I haven't uploaded any of them to Flickr yet, figuring I'll wait until I can do them in chunks, either by year or month or something. It's a time-sucking project to be sure, just one of several I have lined up these days. It may have to wait for winter and conditions more suitable to spending an entire day in front of the computer.

So this shot was taken on my birthday, Sept. 2, 2001, just nine days before those towers in the background fell down. It's the last picture I have of the World Trade Center as we knew it. My sister, my friend Mia and I were out at Sandy Hook enjoying a summer-like day on Labor Day Weekend before attending that night's Lakewood BlueClaws game and stopping by a bar in Belmar on the way home. Despite the apparent haze, it was actually a clear day by comparison to what we might normally get when we look toward Manhattan from the Jersey Shore. If I recall correctly, I left my camera in the car -- a somewhat arduous trek across the hot sand and the parking lot, at least a good 5-10 minutes -- and went back to get it once I saw just how clear the view was and how close the Twin Towers appeared.

I'm glad I did.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"The Fallingwater Classic, No. 5," Pennsylvania, December 2007

Yeah, this is an oft-reproduced image of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous private residence, the Kaufman house in the western Pennsylvania woods, Fallingwater. But this one's mine, and I prefer it as a means of depicting "The Great Outdoors" because it touches upon what Wright tried to accomplish with his projects when he fused man-made structures with nature. He tried to make the houses part of the landscape rather than just building on the landscape.

It's great that Fallingwater and a few other Wright projects I've visited -- Taliesin West and Kentuck Knob, which is privately owned but open to the public -- are now accessible, but damn if I wouldn't love to live there myself.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Made in Maine, May '08: Streaking past Portland

I want to marry a lighthouse keeper
And keep him company.
I want to marry a lighthouse keeper
And live by the side of the sea.
I'll polish his lamp by the light of day
So ships at night can find their way.
I want to marry a lighthouse keeper
Won't that be okay!
We'll take walks along the moonlight bay
Maybe find a treasure too.
I'd love living in a lighthouse,
The dream of living in a lighthouse baby, every single day.
The dream of living in a lighthouse,
the white one by the bay.
So if you want to make my dreams come true,
You'll be a lighthouse keeper too.
We could live in a lighthouse
The white one by the bay, hey hey.
Won't that be okay.
Yada tada ta ta ta.

"I Wanna Marry a Lighthouse Keeper," by Erika Eigen

So maybe the shining sun got to me on a bright day on Cape Elizabeth. The following, though, isn't mine ...